Museum Cataloging Project Unveils New Treasures

Museum Cataloging Project Unveils New Treasures

Valdez, Alaska, October 22, 2019 – The Valdez Museum on Hazelet with its Remembering Old Valdez Exhibit is closed for the season, but there’s a buzz of activity inside the sprawling warehouse building. Nearly every inch of floor space is covered with artifacts, large and small, hauled down from storage on the mezzanine. They may look old and dusty, but for Collections Intern Megan Murray each one is an unsolved mystery to unravel, such as the early 1900’s Craps table she cleaned up and restored to its former glory:

“I have to become knowledgeable in many areas in order to catalog correctly, for instance reading up on the rules of craps betting. It’s like a treasure hunt every day.”

Megan’s first thought on the undertaking reflects her enthusiasm:

“This is great, so much stuff and so much to choose from to catalog!”

Favorite items are ones that contain clues, like the 1915 DuPont Company tin powder keg used by the Copper River Northwestern Railroad. It was covered with writing underneath the rust which she tried to decipher in order to learn more about the DuPont Company. Other discoveries include:  a 1940’s dress form, owned by Mary Welch, possibly the first registered nurse in Alaska, who used it to make her uniforms; a vintage Burlington white wicker “Baskenette” bassinet, a tile-top garden table circa 1930 and a steamer trunk belonging to Valdez resident Arthur Segerquist (1893-1950).

The 8-week scope of the fall Collections Internship is made possible through a grant from Museums Alaska, and work by VMHA staff on the Cataloging Project will extend through the winter and early spring.


Executive Director Patricia Relay                                                   

Tel. 907-835-2764, Email:

Date: 10/22/2019